David Haye expects Anthony Joshua to target a world heavyweight unification bout with Tyson Fury instead of challenging the experienced 35-year-old. Joshua became the IBF champion after beating Charles Martin in April and he been linked with a bout with Fury who holds the WBA super and WBO belts.
Joshua will make the first defence of his world title on 25 June when he takes on American Dominic Breazeale, a fortnight before Fury will seek to underline his status as the dominant figure in the sport when he faces a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko in Manchester. Victory for both fighters will likely swell the clamour for an all-British unification bout between the unbeaten pair.
Haye meanwhile still has designs on returning to the summit of the division and takes on unbeaten Kovovan Arnold Gjergjaj at the O2 Arena in London in his second fight since coming out of retirement following shoulder surgery. The 35-year-old will aim to repeat the performance which saw him knock-out Mark de Mori in 130 seconds on his comeback in January and though keen to face Joshua next year, he admits the Eddie Hearn-promoted fighter is may prove elusive.
"I didn't show too many weaknesses in that last fight," he added. "I looked stronger, bigger and faster than ever so it wouldn't make business sense fighting me and potentially ruining a good thing that [Joshua's camp] have got going on there.
"They'll wait for a summer showdown where everyone has earned good money, he has improved and learned lessons and got more world championship experience so when he does get in the ring with me, in his mid will have a better chance of winning. A fight with Tyson Fury is defiantly an easier fight than myself.
"Joshua would have very, very good confidence going into that fight as he's shared the ring with him before and Joshua battered him in sparing and this has come from Tyson Fury. He got beat up by some amateur kid. Psychologically that would be really good to know that although he has got some titles, he has already bashed him up.
"Since then he has won the Olympics and become world champion so he is much improved. If you look at Tyson Fury's style, he doesn't look like he has changed much from the last few years. He is just big and floppy and uses his size a bit. I'd put all my money on Joshua to win that one inside the distance."
A routine win over Gjergjaj is likely to be followed by an early-autumn clash with Shannon Briggs before Haye can realistically begin to target another shot at the heavyweight title. The Bermondsey-born boxer is confident that he could topple Joshua given the opportunity, and uses the IBF champion's struggle against Dillian Whyte as proof he could be undone by an opponent short in stature.
"People keep talking about a big stadium fight with a Joshua or someone like that," he added on Joshua, who has knocked out each of his 16 opponents in his professional career. "If I have to wait for the summer and if it means fighting in non-world title fights I'll do that and hopefully those will be on free-to-air. There are still people that think I could beat [Joshua] with my speed. He is used to dealing with big guys, but does he deal with a small guy.
"He got rocked by Dillian Whyte and all my punches are quicker and harder. When I hit you and hurt you I don't miss with the next six or seven shots; I land each one on your chin. It makes for an exciting fight and a fight that potentially could be for the unified heavyweight championship. I am just hoping all these fights go ahead and everyone stays healthy."
David Haye takes on Arnold 'The Cobra' Gjerjaj at The O2 on May 21. Watch #HayeDay exclusively live and free-to-air from 8pm on Dave, for tickets visittheo2.co.uk